Israel & Palestine

Israel rejects two-state solution – Netanyahu

Author: Editors Desk Source: RT
February 19, 2024 at 03:18
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly, New York City, September 22, 2023. ©  Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly, New York City, September 22, 2023. © Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state would be an “unprecedented reward to terrorism,” the prime minister has said

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has categorically rejected “unilateral recognition” of a Palestinian state, arguing it would be a “massive and unprecedented reward to terrorism” that would prevent any prospects for long-lasting peace in the future.

Speaking at the Conference of Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem on Sunday, Netanyahu called the war in Gaza “the battle of civilization against barbarism,”and reiterated his goal of “total victory.”

“This is the battle that is important for Israel’s future and our survival, but it’s also critical to the future of civilization,” the prime minister said, adding that the elimination of Hamas, freeing the hostages, and preventing Gaza from ever “posing a threat” to Israel remain the main objectives.

Netanyahu went on to decry the “vilification of Israel,” arguing that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) is “going to a length that no other army has done to prevent civilian casualties,” calling the genocide case that was brought by South Africa to the International Court of Justice a “farce.”

While agreeing that the civilian population of Gaza needs to be kept out of harm’s way, Netanyahu reaffirmed his determination to completely eliminate Hamas, vowing to “finish the job” as “America finished their job,” referring to the fight with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS).

He added, however, that there is “one thing” that “Israel cannot agree to” – a two-state solution, which the international community has been calling for since the war broke out.

“Israel utterly rejects international dictate regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians,” Netanyahu said, quoting a resolution that he brought before the government on Sunday. “Israel will continue to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state,” adding that this would serve as a reward to “terrorism and would prevent any future peace agreements.”

Since the beginning of the Hamas-Israel war, which erupted following the Palestinian militants’ incursion into Israel on October 7, nearly 29,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed, according to the enclave’s Health Ministry. Over 85% of Gaza residents have been displaced from their homes, and around 1.4 million are currently sheltering in the city of Rafah, the target of a planned ground offensive which Israel insists is necessary.

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